USA made Tumblers

Have been a big supporter of Liberty Bottles.  They have a Kickstarter going on right now to help them become the 1st USA manufacturer of double walled tumblers.  Currently other double walled tumblers are made over seas.  Help Liberty achieve their goal.

black mangled fly hat

Free Sole or Spike Pack

Korkers is excited to announce a FREE Sole/Spike Rebate Program for April 2017.
Take advantage of this special offer and experience the latest product innovations from Korkers.
Online Rebate Form: http://www.korkers.com/rebate

If you have plans on of heading to Alaska this year or the next (no felt wading boots are aloud) or just simply need a new pair or wading boots for this season.  Korkers has a great line of products.  I’ve currently been running around in the Devil’s Canyon’s  and they are the best wading boots I’ve ever owned.  Check them out and take advantage of this great rebate. #shoplocal

 

sunrise mirror lens

New Len’s by Costa Del Mar

sunrise mirror lens

Costa Del Mar has a new lens that is a great lens to have in your gear bag.  Many of the best days of fishing are cloudy and rainy.  You are not going to want to be wearing your bright sunny day lens.  It’s important to have the right lens to the conditions that you are fishing in.  Especially if you are a streamer fisherman. I just wore these lens the other day and they are great.  I had a all day rain day, and had no problems seeing what I needed to do my job.  Here is a link from Costa letting you know more about the Sunrise Mirror that just came out this week.

 

George Daniel Strip Set

Book Review: Strip-Set: Fly-Fishing Techniques, Tactics, Patterns for Streamers

George Daniel Strip SetIt’s been over a decade since Bob Linsenman and Kelly Galloup’s “Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout” really took the idea of targeting big trout with big flies to the mainstream. Since then there have been tremendous advances – in gear, in fly design, in knowledge, and in the number of anglers hucking big meal to entice the river monsters out from under the log.

Now a new book from Pennsylvania’s George Daniel has added to the must-read list for the streamer angler. In “Strip-Set: Fly-Fishing Techniques, Tactics, Patterns for Streamers” Mr. Daniel takes all of these advances, mixes them with some insights from some of today’s top streamer purists, and delivers a tool to take your streamer fishing to the next level.

Interestingly, the title topic – strip setting – is mentioned only briefly. As a recent convert to the muskie game, I understand the advantage of the strip set. But it also makes a ton of sense when pursuing trout. Trout-setting only moves the fly away from the fish, adds slack in the line, and generally lowers your odds of a solid hook-up. By contrast, a strip set creates immediate, positive contact. Makes perfect sense! This is but one example of the pragmatic, direct insight that Daniel presents in the book. Can’t wait for this Spring’s big trout hunt! Missed hooksets have been my nemesis in the past.

For years a couple of my friends who are knowledgeable anglers have extolled to “fish the fly, not the line”. In principle, that sounds simple. But what does it MEAN? And how do you actually accomplish that goal? George Daniel delivers that answers at a level that totally changed my thinking and strategy. The book includes extensive discussions of line types – floating, sink-tip, and full-sinking – as well as when to deploy each type.

Another interesting area is his extensive discussion of floating lines. Here in Michigan, we seldom fish streamers on a floating line. It’s generally a sink-tip or intermediate line match to current, depth, etc. At first I thought this to be just a quirk due to the fact the he spends most of his time fishing his native Pennsylvania (though it is clear from his book that he LOVES fishing Michigan) where the waters are typically not as deep. But before long I realized that he was really taking my knowledge to the next level – in some situations, even in deep water, there are significant advantages floating lines offer. This is a recurring theme in this book. There are a lot of tactics that can impact your success; consider them all carefully!

These are but a few of the excellent topics covered in this solid book on the streamer game. Mr. Daniel writes in an engaging style, covers concepts thoroughly but not too extensively, and really addresses the gamut of issues, challenges, and conditions the streamer angler may encounter.

This week I had the opportunity to meet and tie with George Daniel. His personality really reflected the book – straightforward, but with plenty of friendliness and no need for excessive flash. Speaking of flash; his patterns seem incredibly sparse alongside what we’re used to seeing here in Michigan.

I’m eager to put my new knowledge, skills, and insights to work on my next streamer trip! If you’re a streamer angler, put this book on your “must have” list. You won’t be disappointed!

-Sean-

Scott fly rods

Radian Review

Steel and Radian Spey

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a gear head. I have enjoyed being a member of Scott’s pro staff for more than a decade but will always give you an honest opinion about any given model of Scott rod if you ask. They have made many models of fly rod, and I have owned a lot of them. Many of them–but not all–have been rods that I like. Furthermore, as a guide, I have had the ability to cast a lot of different rods by other manufacturers. This is due to the fact that clients are always bringing their own rods into the boat. In this day and age, it is more difficult to find a truly bad rod. It is even more difficult to find a truly great rod that sets itself apart from all the other choices. To me, a rod has a couple of hoops to jump through to be a truly great rod. The two questions I ask myself are:

1) Is the rod versatile or is it limited in function?–This question is something that each person needs to ask when they purchase a rod. Some rods are great for dry flies, some are great for streamers, etc. Very few can do it all.

2) The second questions that I ask about a rod is something that is more apparent to a fishing guide. That question is “Is this rod durable?”. If you use a rod or reel a reasonable amount during the course of the year, and pack it and dry it after each use, you are not likely to test the limits of durability of your stick. As a guide, rods see constant use and exposure to the elements. It is blatantly obvious over time which rods are consumer grade and which are really meant to last.

There is a rod that has hit the market over last couple of years, the Scott Radian. I am happy to write this brief review that confirms that the Radian is indeed a great rod. It is more than adequate at most tasks, in fact, it is downright awesome at many of them. Furthermore, it is an extremely durable rod. Because of its versatility and its durability,I strongly recommend this rod to anyone looking for a new fly rod for fishing in Midwest waters.

I can’t recommend ever putting your fingers this close to a musky!

Here is a breakdown of the Radians that I have used extensively and a little breakdown on the performance of the rods.

Radian 908/4: This is a great heavy duty freshwater rod. It pairs with 200-300 grain sink tips, and can cast large flies better than many 9 weight rods. It is a good steelhead rod but is also a really nice smallmouth rod. When over lined, it becomes a popper fishing machine. Recently, I took this rod musky fishing alongside of 9 and 10 weight rods. I found that I put the heavier rods away and just fished this one. It was capable of casting the large flies and putting the wood to large toothy ones. I dream of the day that Scott builds the Radian in a 9 weight, but for now this is a great alternative.

Radian 907/4: This is a great streamer/smallmouth rod. As a seven weight, it is more of a niche rod for freshwater use. It is at its best with a floating line for smallmouth fishing or a 200 grain sink tip for below surface work. A good smallmouth rod needs to be able to cast a tight loop, so that flies don’t catch overhanging trees while fishing from the boat. This rod fits the bill.

Radian 906/4: Hey, I am not in the retail business, and wouldn’t typically say this. However, the 906 Radian is one of the finest all purpose freshwater rods for a Michigan angler. I own a few of these; they are my bread and butter guide rod. They are also the rod that can do just about anything you could ask while fishing for trout and smallmouth bass. This rod can cast a dry fly delicately. It has a very satisfying feel when it loads and is equally at home with a sink tip and short leader. It also roll casts nymphs and weight with ease. I don’t think it would have a problem with light duty steelhead fishing for that matter.

When I go out and fish on my own, the 906 is the rod that I always grab. The Little Muskegon River runs behind my house; it is a fair trout stream and a good place to catch smallmouth. Often times I will work my way upstream casting dry flies for trout in the riffles, only to turn around and fish heavy crayfish patterns on the way down for smallmouth. This rod handles both of these tasks easily and enjoyably. It is available with or without a fighting butt, which is a nice option to have. I always use the model with the butt attached, but you may prefer the other option.

Radian Spey 1308/4: I received this rod a few weeks ago. Aesthetically, it is a cool looking rod with orange wraps and an unsnapped blank. When I first put it together, I was a little bit concerned because it is a pretty stiff blank. I have had several shooting head rods with apparently similar action, and really didn’t like them. All this skepticism was put to rest upon the first cast of the rod. It has a great, muscular feel and casted an intermediate skagit line and a scandi head with equal ease.

OK, so these rods are great fishing rods, and they have a great deal of versatility. But how well do they hold up? I can’t guarantee this, but I am pretty sure that they know my name at the Repair Department of Scott Fly Rods. There have been years that I have sent back 15 or more broken rods in a single year. Guiding in the Midwest is inherently hard on equipment. This is especially true when you make your living casting flies with lead eyes through much of the year. Since receiving several of the Radians, not a single one has broken in over a year of heavy use (this is the main reason for this favorable review). They are heavily reinforced as is apparent on the blank. This includes fishing in all sorts of heavy and extreme weather, and being pelted by weighted eyesand split shot. I watched helplessly as a Radian was crushed by the weight of a robust angler. Somehow, the rod survived.

Due to their great performance and durability, I can recommend the Scott Radian line of rods to any Midwest angler. The 6 weight is a star and if you are looking for a fantastic, premium, all around rod, this is the best option I have seen. The other models, including the spey, are equally impressive. The versatility and the durability of the Scott Radians makes them an extraordinary series of fly rod.

Kevin Feenstra

yeti low ball

Yeti Rambler – Keeps ice Longer

If you have not experienced the advantages of the Yeti Rambler Series yet, stop by your local fly shop and pick one up.  From early morning coffee runs, to cold drinks on summer days, to dropping a cube in your favorite adult brown water, the Yeti Rambler series has changed the way liquids are enjoyed.

Erik Rambo shot a short time lapse of the newest Yeti Product the Low Ball ,  with 4 oz of his favorite Rum poured into the Low Ball.  He added one ice cube that was approximately 2″ square into the Low Ball.  The initial reading on the digital thermometer was 74 degrees, after the ice cube was added, the temperature dropped to 33 degrees after 3 min.  At the end of the short time lapse video, you can see the temperature on the thermometer says 34 degrees.  This was after 6 hours of filming.  The camera battery died, but there was still ice in the glass.

DETAILS

Stainless SteelVacuum InsulationSweat Free

Fly Tying – Flymen Blog Post

Great write up by Gunnar Brammer on the Flymen Blog Post about fly tying and the 3 different ways that you can use articulation in your fly design for stripping streamers.  Flymen products have exploded onto the scene the last few years.  Flymen products are a staple of my fly tying room.  Articulated Shanks for steelhead, Fish- Skull Articulated Fish Spines , and Fish-Skull Body Tubing

Gunnar makes reference to Russ Maddin, and one of my personal favorite streamer patterns the Circus Peanut.  Check out the link to the detailed how-to-tie video we did with Russ Maddin.

In my mind, Maddin’s Circus Peanut best exemplifies my personal definition of an articulated jig fly. The rear hook and front hook are identical with the exception of the chenille-wrapped lead eyes. The fly swims, jigs, and is a fish-catching machine.

Circus Peanut with Russ Maddin from Mangled Fly Media on Vimeo.

The Circus Peanut has been a staple in the Russ Maddin fly box for years. The Circus Peanut orginated in Northern Michigan over a decade ago and is now fished all over the world. Many streamers by many famous fly tiers have followed this same template. Russ sits down with Jon Ray from Mangled Fly Media and shows his step-by-step process.
This video breaks down the Circus Peanut and gives you full access, into the mind of fly tier, fisherman , and river steward Russ Maddin. As he discusses his methods of tying, color matching, and setting up one of the best streamers of all time.
No matter your experience level you will learn something from this video. If your into streamer fishing no matter the species this is a must watch.

aquaz waders

New Aquaz Bootfoot Waders

I’ll be doing a more in-depth product review of the New Rogue Aquaz Waders in the coming weeks, but happy to see them arrive in the mail this week, just in time for the cold weather steelhead season.  One of the secrets to finding steelhead is being able to make the cast to them.  Nobody like’s cold feet, and to not have cold feet, you need to have air circulation around your toes.  Boot foot waders are the secret and are so much warmer than stocking foot waders.  Aquaz has teamed up with Bogs and is creating a wader for the serious steelhead angler.

The perfect lightweight wader for the backpacking angler.

BOOTFOOT WADER VERSION OF NEW ROGUE CHEST WADER / Using premium BOGS insluated boots

Stockingfoot breathable chest wader constructed of three-layer Aqualex® Pro™ fabric. Front chest pocket with YKK® water-repellent zipper closure. Lightweight, highly breathable and waterproof fabric.

Features:

  • Front chest pocket with water-repellent zipper
  • 2mm AirMesh and 5mm NeoTech rubber insulated boots by BOGS
  • Anatomically shaped legs with seams located on outside to eliminate seam wear
  • Highest quality proprietary Japanese Breathable fabrics
  • Adjustable waist belt with 1 1/2” buckle
  • Adjustable elastic shoulder suspenders
  • Available felt sole and rubber sole
  • Sold in limited quantity

Contact Brian at the Northern Angler in Traverse City, Mi to order your pair of these premium waders.